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Almost every parenting article is accompanied by a stock photo, and with good reason.
After all, they're well-lit, beautifully composed and capture moments
that (presumably) perfectly illustrate the concepts presented in the article.
I assume we're meant to relate to
the moms/models in the photos on some level, but how often do those
pictures accurately represent your experiences as a mother? I
see them so often online that I barely even notice them anymore, and
I bet you don't either, so I decided to bring the Internet's
supporting photos to the forefront for a minute. Here's the story of
a typical mom's day, as told by stock photography. How well does it
resemble your real life?
You're already decked out in a
fashionable linen dress you ironed last night—since you definitely
didn't stay up late eating loose chocolate chips by the handful and
binge-watching "Scandal" on Netflix—so it's time to turn
your attention to your little one. Naturally you know exactly where
both of his shoes are, and he isn't crying at all because everyone
knows how much toddlers love wearing button-down collared shirts and
2. Spend some quality time together.
Find an open field. Frolic in it,
preferably in front of a ray of dazzling sunshine. Regard your child
lovingly while she laughs in the effortless way all children do, so
that from a distance it appears as though you're sharing a Meaningful
Bonding Moment even though in reality she probably just told you a
lengthy series of knock-knock jokes about farts.
3. Enjoy a wholesome enrichment
Assemble some choking hazard-sized
beads, all the glitter you can find and maybe a store-bought craft
kit full of foam shapes. Whip up something you saw on Pinterest.
Encourage your children to be creative, especially when "creativity"
involves writing on their faces with non-washable marker. Revel in
the fact that your older child isn't throwing some kind of fit over
the fact that the baby is using all the Popsicle sticks.
4. Keep in touch with your friends.
Because that definitely happens. Chat
uninterrupted on the phone while your baby rides quietly on your hip.
Pace languidly around your spotless chef's kitchen in your crisp
white pants, which don't have any traces of pureed carrots on them
whatsoever. Laugh with your head thrown back as you discuss something
pleasant, something that certainly isn't the news that your third-grader just threw up at school or some other motherhood-related
5. Get lots of work done.
Children are nothing if not
accommodating to your needs, so you should be able to easily run errands, check email and make a few
important business calls with your kids around . In fact, as long as
you have a colorful play mat on the floor, your baby can entertain
himself for hours without any supervision at all. Make sure to leave
the patio door open while you check Facebook in case he needs to
crawl outside for some fresh air!
6. Help with homework.
Few things bring a mother and child
closer together than endless spelling drills and reiterating the
difference between adjectives and adverbs for the 498th time. It's
not at all frustrating! Your child will jump at the chance to listen
to you eloquently explain the Magna Carta and will be impressed by
your ability to effortlessly divide fractions, even though you haven't
tried doing it for the last 20 years.
7. Let them help with dinner.
Teach them valuable life skills
involving rolling pins. Compliment them on the healthy food choices
they're sure to make, like licking uncooked egg off their fingers.
Above all, remember that messes are hilarious. Besides, nothing
is more rewarding than taking an extra 45 minutes to prepare a meal
you didn't want to make in the first place, and then spending a half
hour cleaning it off the kitchen counter. And floor. And walls.
8. Cherish every moment.
Pause daily to gaze at your child for
several minutes. Alternately, hold your giggling baby straight over
your head, where she definitely won't spit up in your face. Thank
strangers at the grocery store for the frequent reminders that "it
all goes by so fast," which is especially easy to appreciate
when your toddler has been screaming for seven straight minutes about
your refusal to buy him a cigarette lighter in the checkout line.
9. Ahh, the joy of bedtime.
Undoubtedly your child won't question
why it's still light out as you put them to bed at 7:15 p.m. for no
particular reason. With your gorgeous hair still perfectly coiffed, lace nightie (Yoga pants? What are those?) and full makeup on, tuck your child in. Smile each time your child interrupts you just as you
were about to finally finish a page in this book, which you don't
find mind-numbingly boring even though you've read it twice every
night for the last eight months.